Hastings United scored two late goals to pull off a dramatic comeback victory this afternoon (Saturday).
The U’s won 2-1 away to Whitstable Town in Ryman Football League Division One South thanks to a 95th minute winner from Sean Ray after Sam Adams had equalised in the 81st minute.
The result moved United up to eighth in the table and only two points outside the play-off places with games in hand. It also took them past their points tally in the whole of last season.
Recently signed goalkeeper Joe Taylor missed out through illness so Dan Rose came in for his senior debut. United were also missing Tyrell Richardson-Brown against bottom-of-the-table but improving opposition.
Whitstable opened the scoring against the run of play in the 37th minute. Stuart King went clear on goal and calmly chipped the ball over Rose for his fourth goal against United this season having previously netted a hat-trick for Faversham Town.
The hosts might well have been further ahead by half time. Rose pulled off a terrific save to divert King’s shot against the post and Joe Kennett then hit the upright from close range before Dean Grant mishit his shot when clean through, giving Rose an easy save.
Chris Cumming-Bart had an effort tipped over as United started the second half brightly. Grant blazed over from an inviting position, while at the other end, United twice had the ball in the net only to be denied by the offside flag on both occasions.
United’s leading scorer Sam Cole saw an angled shot saved before the visitors got back on level terms. Liam Wilson’s cross eventually dropped for Adams to pick out the corner of the net from 12 yards.
Billy Medlock shot narrowly over for United before Rose produced a super stop at the other end. United - who have drawn only one league game all season - won it in the dying moments when Ray headed home from an Adams corner.
United: Rose, Rowe, Cruttwell, Johnson, Ray, Walder, Medlock, Cumming-Bart (Temba), Attwood (Wilson), Adams, Cole. Subs not used: Smith, Foster. Attendance: 197.
Ryman Division One South top 14 (played-points): 1 Folkestone Invicta 30-72, 2 Worthing 31-59, 3 Guernsey 30-55, 4 Herne Bay 29-54, 5 Dorking Wanderers 29-51, 6 Faversham Town 30-51, 7 Carshalton Athletic 31-50, 8 HASTINGS UNITED 26-49, 9 Ramsgate 31-49, 10 Corinthian-Casuals 28-48, 11 Molesey 29-48, 12 Whyteleafe 30-48, 13 Hythe Town 29-47, 14 South Park 28-45.
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